Earnings grow from enriched customer engagement
Demand for increased responsiveness is one trend we didn’t mention in the Bastard’s previous post, 21 Tipping Points (or Tripping Points). But for the supply chain the trend is real and the need for information is real-time. It’s a signal to lean from being simply efficient, to becoming wholly responsive to customers. In that post, I cautioned that identifying a relevant trend is one thing but “how you respond to the change, and then how you adapt your business” is what really defines your brand. The upshot is most of that “definition” is derived from perceptions you create. So you have more control than you might think. Particularly when you consider customers who are higher in the sales funnel, not previously aware of you. Committing to this trend however, means embracing the information age, and the highly connected, freely sharing, digital economy. Take a leap with me; let me show you how YouTube, of all things, could help you make the transition.
Change your focus; change your results
The trend toward responsiveness has been coming on steadily. However the challenge for most supply chains is their inability to affect the kinds of operational changes required to get that ball rolling. If you’re profitable and the culture’s working, why upset the apple cart, right? The chart illustrates how changing the focus toward the customer yields a different, positive result.
No doubt, a shift to a responsive focus could require fundamental changes in your culture, and, ironically, in your operations. I recognize that may be too much to ask at one sitting. Crawl before you run—that’s the key. Start practicing by pulling back the curtain a bit and let the world get to know you. Share your capabilities.
Start by creating the perception of transparency with video stories about your services. Then leverage the power of YouTube, the most ubiquitous TV channel in the world. It could be easier than you think to make short, authentic videos of your company, your process, your people and your product on a periodic basis. By allowing this kind of transparency you are taking the first step toward a responsive focus. Your customers get tired of pulling, it’s time you pushed.
YouTube is a video-sharing site that is also the second largest search engine in the world behind Google. For the supply chain, it’s an underutilized, largely misunderstood, strategic advantage, particularly if your competition is not leveraging it. It’s a marketing channel and another opportunity for your business to be seen and heard by your potential audiences. When you allow transparency, it suggests your business is more accessible which is a prerequisite for being responsive.
When you post videos you can also apply keyword tags, which improve natural search engine rankings and that increases your website’s visibility. Videos tend to be shared via emails more than pictures, written stories and papers. It’s also free and YouTube allows your company to create its own, unique, TV channel/URL address. It will host unlimited videos, track views and links to your videos.
Two supply chain video examples:
This first one is an excellent demonstration of simplicity and authenticity. However it does not appear to have a custom channel set up as yet. It has a casual, yet professional feel due to the standardized, branded title sequence.
This next one was produced by our brother company Accessa Coatings Solutions. And if you visit its YouTube page, you can see the custom channel set up. Better camera angles, sensitive lighting work and some additional polish in the editing makes for an interesting show visitors will remember.
How to get started?
Set up your free YouTube account online and choose a screen name (ideally your company name). Set up your profile with keywords about your business and upload your logo as an avatar. Keep in mind that you don’t need to allow visitors to see how many subscribers you have or what channels you subscribe to, etc.
Tips on making videos:
- Use a YouTube-compatible digital format
- Keep it short—one to three minutes are best
- Start with a standardized look to your intro so that all your videos can be instantly recognizable over time
- Use a good microphone; most built-in microphones lack the ability to get the clearest sound
- Be yourself; have your company leaders and employees be themselves. Anything less than genuine will be a certain turnoff
- Do not over-edit. A goof here and there shows that you and your company are made up of real people
- Limit the use of special effects, transitions and other distractions
- Customize the look and feel of your channel; you want to further your brand, not blend in with the crowd
Have fun with it. Remember, if nothing else a video marketing initiative will shake up the status quo and instill some pride in what you are doing.
HIT Solutions believes the more your business keeps up with important trends, the more you will improve your product, and improve your bottom line.
Leave me your comments below; share your thoughts.